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Are You a Good Husband or an Amazing One?

Wednesday, 3 October, 2018 - 4:28 am

 

Question of the Week:

 

My very devout wife says I shouldn't miss Simchas Torah, as it is the most important festival of the year. I countered that the Torah speaks of no such festival, so how could it be so important? She said I should ask the rabbi. So I am.

 

Answer:

 

There are two types of good husbands. I'm not sure which one you are.

One is the type of husband that does whatever his wife asks. If she says, "Can you pick up some eggplants?" he says "Sure." If she asks for a new watch, he buys it. If she says "This house needs painting" he calls a painter. If she complains that the air-conditioning is on too strong, he turns it off.

He is a good husband. But he is not an amazing husband.

An amazing husband doesn't only do what his wife asks. He does things for her without her asking. He knows what makes her happy, and just goes ahead and does it. She still has to express her needs, because even an amazing husband can't read her mind. But he can intuit what she likes, and do it without being asked.

The Jewish people are in a marriage-like relationship with G-d. We don't just do what we are asked, but go beyond to do things we know would make G-d happy. In Judaism there are straight out rules that G-d has asked us to keep, like eating kosher and giving charity. They are called commandments, what G-d needs from us, and we do them as any loyal partner would.

And then there are customs, like wearing a kippah and dipping apples in honey. We were not commanded to do these things, but we ourselves intuited that G-d would like it, so we do it.

Among the festivals, there are those that we were commanded to keep, like Yom Kippur, and then there are those that we developed on our own, like Simchas Torah. Nothing we do on Simchas Torah is commanded in the Torah. The dancing, the Torah readings, the somersaults and the songs are all an expression of our love for G-d, doing what we know would make Him happy. And nothing makes Him happier than seeing us all dancing together in joy, celebrating the gift of the Torah, the gift of being Jewish.

Doing what we are told is good. Doing what makes G-d happy without being told is even deeper. That's why the most intensely loving moment between G-d and the Jewish people is Simchas Torah.

I'm not sure if you are a good husband or an amazing one. But either way you need to come celebrate Simchas Torah. Because it's what G-d would like, or because your wife told you to.

Good Shabbos and Good Yomtov,
Rabbi Moss

Source:
Siddur im Dach Shaar Sukkos

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